Dependent personality disorder treatment self help

Dependent personality disorder treatment self help.

Interesting independent personality facts.

For someone with dependent personality disorder (DPD) life can be full of challenges and insecurities. Not being able to rely on yourself, for instance, creates a lot of stress and worry. When treatment is not (yet) an option for some people, a dependent personality disorder treatment self help page may be just the thing they need. Step by step we discuss dependent personality disorder treatment self help tips, tricks, and exercises that may come in handy.

This page is created for those people who have some DPD symptoms or have been diagnosed with moderate DPD. In case you have severe DPD, we strongly recommend you to contact a mental health professional for counseling. For those people who wonder whether or not they have DPD, we created a short and online DPD questionnaire.
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At Barends Psychology Practice we offer (online) therapy for dependent personality disorder. Contact us to schedule a first, free of charge, online session. (Depending on your health insurance, treatment may be reimbursed).


Dependent personality disorder treatment self help – Reflect on your childhood.

A few important questions for someone with dependent personality disorder (DPD or dependent PD) to answer is: why and how did I develop DPD? Why do I need so much reassurance and why do I have such low self-esteem? And how did those early childhood experiences shape my adult behaviour?
The answers to these questions can help you understand a lot more about dependent PD, because they can reveal some of your biggest fears. These fears (e.g., fear of losing someone’s support; fear of being rejected) are the underlying motivations for your DPD-behaviour. Without these fears there would be no reason to behave the way you do.
In some cases these fears started after something traumatic happened (e.g., you have overprotective parents and one day when you did something without asking for their approval/permission things went horribly wrong) or after a long history of belittling comments. If this is the case, then eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment can help you get rid of these fears.
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Dependent personality disorder treatment self help tip:

  • Write about your childhood and early adolescent experiences regarding the development of your self-esteem, the way your parents raised you, and the times you’ve been really rejected/abandoned. Analyze each situation and try to look at these events from different perspectives. This way you’ll get new insights and you may even start to realize that certain decisions had little to do with you. An example: having overprotective parents doesn’t mean you can’t do anything by yourself. It actually tells your parents were too concerned about your safety that they didn’t allow you to explore and play. <-- in other words, it says a lot more about your parents, that about you.
  • Talk to your parents about your childhood to see how they reflect on their behaviour and ask them if they could have done things differently. Sometimes this gives you more insight in their motivations to raise you the way they did, and it may give you more answers than you could provide yourself with.


Dependent personality disorder treatment self help – Make an action plan.

Now that you know what your biggest fears are, you need to neutralize these fears. The best way you can neutralize a fear yourself is by exposing yourself to that fear(ful event) in a safe and controlled environment. This way you learn that your feelings of panic and anxiety will reduce/disappear after approximately 10 minutes, and that (most likely) nothing bad has happened to you. But first things first.
You need to practice becoming more independent and needing less reassurance from others. And to do that you need to make an action plan to work with in the near future. An action plan gives you clear goals and tells you how to achieve these goals.

Dependent personality disorder treatment self help tip:

  • Create a list of things you fear doing or things you need a lot of reassurance for before you can do them.
  • Categorize your fears in groups: fears at work, at home, among friends, during activities.
  • Write down how you can tackle each fear by creating a goal for each of these fears: what would you achieve?
  • For each goal write down a few exercises to practice with. Practice makes perfect, you’ll see!
  • Plan your exercises in such a way that you’ll experience as little pressure or stress as possible. For example, go to work early, before anybody else is there, to practice with some tasks.

Note: We strongly recommend you to discuss your action plan with a mental health professional who is specialized in treating dependent personality disorder. If your exercises are too difficult you may not be able to make (much) progress at all. This will have a negative impact on your self-esteem and that can worsen your DPD symptoms.
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Dependent personality disorder treatment self help – Practice and evaluate progress.

By now it’s time to start practicing. This means you pick one or two exercises a day and try to practice them. Remember: you are practicing so you are allowed to make mistakes. All you need to measure is progress. Did you make a little bit of progress? If so, then you did a great job! If you have the feeling you didn’t make progress, then you may want to evaluate to see where you could improve things.
It’s possible that your emotions are so overwhelming that you have the feeling you didn’t do the exercise that well, regardless of how it actually went. Emotions can easily trouble our judgment. In this case write down when you make progress with an exercise and how to measure it.

Dependent personality disorder treatment self help – Expressing emotions/opinions.

Expressing emotions and opinions can be very, very difficult for people with DPD. The fear of being abandoned, rejected or to lose support can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to stay silent and agree with the other. For most people with dependent DP it’s a goal to be able to express emotions and opinions. The best way to practice this is to turn to someone you trust a lot. Depending on your childhood experiences, this can be your parent or your best friend. By explaining your situation and the fact that you need to practice standing up for yourself and expressing your emotions, you create a safe situation to practice in. Your parent/friend understands what the purpose is and can give you feedback in a constructive way. Each time you succeed, it reinforces positive behaviors.
If you have the feeling you can’t trust anyone enough to practice with it may be a good idea to turn to a mental health professional.